Wooden Gem

by Raelik

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Drama Fantasy Female Lead Gender Bender High Fantasy LitRPG Magic Mythos Portal Fantasy / Isekai Slice of Life
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Chester is called into work early when tragedy strikes and a bored Freya, Goddess of Love and War, takes an interest in him. Propelling him into an awkward adventure as a woman in a magical world. 

I suggest you read a few of the reviews; they do a better job than I of telling you what you're getting into; even the harsh ones. 

I do hope you give it a shot regardless of the Gender Bender tag. My MC isn't some amazing OP murder hobo but rather just a guy trying to live, adjust, and hopefully eventually thrive in a new world while saddled with a support class. That said he/she still has violent moments.

For those of you that don't read the story tags, this story is a Gender Bender. If the themes generally involved in Bender's are not your thing, please kindly refrain from reading this story and ruining it, and my drive to write it in the first place, for others. I do however try to keep my stories realistic, so a lot of the themes are significantly muted so far.

Fair warning, I'm a discovery writer and this work is a first draft that I've put through Grammarly and Hemingway editor, so expect me to add and tighten aspects of the story over time as I work to make it clearer and add to the setting and characters. I'll likely take larger breaks after each arch to facilitate this. It's also me learning the art of writing, so I apologize for all the growing pains.

Releases will be when I can get to them and based on my construction work. Summers are busier than winters. So expect less from me from May to Sept. I can't guarantee a day for releases. Work sometimes has lots of overtime.

Cheers and I hope you enjoy my story in its current form.

Raelik.

[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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Raelik

Raelik

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter-1 Moose! ago
Chapter 2 Bafflement ago
Chapter 3 Choices, Chester, choices. ago
Chapter 4 Preparation and Gifts.  ago
Chapter 5 Moving plants and moving out. ago
Chapter 6 Bramble Bush ago
Chapter 7 Ironwood ago
Chapter 8 Ashley ago
Chapter 9 Harvest ago
Chapter 10 Wake ago
Chapter 11 Soft Amber ago
Chapter 12 Suspicion ago
Chapter 13 Patrol ago
Chapter 14 How Rumors Start ago
Chapter 15 Aftermath ago
Chapter 16 Caldur ago
Chapter 17 listening ago
Chapter 18 Rainy Day Heart to Heart ago
Chapter 19 Abbess Sholer ago
Chapter 20 Raspberry Brandy ago
Chapter 21 Rites ago
Chapter 22 Standing in the rain. ago
Chapter 23 Kanversation. ago
Chapter 24 A proposal ago
Chapter 25 Greenwood Lions ago
Chapter 26 Rodents and Adoption ago
Chapter 27 Frigg’n Freya. ago
Chapter 28 Bad basket ago
Chapter 29 Thump ago
Chapter 30 Ambush ago
Chapter 31 Hide! ago
Chapter 32 FUBAR ago
Chapter 33 The Safe-Zone. *NSFW scene* ago
Chapter 34 Descent ago
Chapter 35 A Class ago
Chapter 36 Preparation ago
Chapter 37 Chalkboard sounds ago
Chapter 38 Blasted Skeletons and Wooden Gear ago
Chapter 39 Falling Water  ago
Chapter 40 Difficulty Breathing  ago
Chapter 41 Sideways.  ago
Chapter 42 Rat with a side of snow ago
Chapter 43 Odors ago
Chapter 44 Interesting  ago
Chapter 45, Stace 1: A reflection in snow. ago
Chapter 46. Spiders ago
Chapter 47 Waist Deep ago
Chapter 48, Stace 2: Transformations ago
Chapter 49 Lynn ago
Chapter 50 Clutter ago
Chapter 51, Stace 3: Inheritance ago
Chapter 52 Putting the Laughter in Slaughter ago
Chapter 53, Stace 4: Cats ago
Chapter 54 Einherjar ago
Chapter 55 I don't think I can beanstalk my way out of this one, Jack ago
Chapter 56, Stace 5 A Hunter's Shame ago

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Tana Nari
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Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Surprisingly engrossing little isekai.

Reviewed at: Chapter 17 listening

The story of a crude-talking Canadian mechanic who ends up dead via high speed moose collision (don't laugh, happens to something like a hundred people per year in North America) finding himself transformed into a tig 'ol bittied elf chick (go ahead and laugh at that part). With copious music references sprinked everywhere. Most of it being from the 70s.)

Don't take it too seriously, because it sure as hell doesn't take itself seriously. The story is an obvious comedy, if one with dark aspects. Though, personally, I could have done with the whole menstrual cycle being less of a conversation piece. As running gags go, it was old long before this story did it.

Surprisingly, even with that sort of a setup, it puts in about fifty times more actual effort than most isekai. The situation makes sense, the Random Omnipotent Plot Device has an actual motive, one that is understandable and sets up *goals* to the setting. Even if those goals are slow in being pursued.

 

 

The other characters (at least, the 'good guys') feel dynamic and alive- this author excels at character interplay and banter- even if thus far we haven't seen much exploration into their characters.

We have the MC. The rescued orphan (why is that such a popular trope?). And a few soldiers acting as soldiers do, and doing so with such fluidity that I suspect the author is basing them off people he's known for years.

If there was an actual *villain* involved, rather than just a bunch of random encounter bandits (again, every isekai, it's always bandits), the story would be so much stronger.

And therein lies the main problem of the story: there is no plot so far. 17 chapters in, and the only problems have been growing accustomed to the magic system and some random bandits. The MC doesn't have any plans, and the goals are too nebulous to hold a story on ther own. So it's effectively a slice-of-life at this point.

Even so, it's getting higher than average marks from me because, well, the characters are that damn engaging. It could work as a Slice of Life with a few tweaks. 

Grammar is solid, with but a small number of typos and a smooth (if impolite at times) use of language.

Style is a little weaker; the author needs to work on such things as truncated sentences and the use of commas and semicolons. A little nit-picky, perhaps, but that's what I do when there's no glaring errors to discuss. This author even manages to keep the adverbs to a minimum.

In short: if gender-bending comedy routines don't freak you out, and you are happy with a story being less 'rollercoaster' and more 'pleasant day at the lake with a buddy, some fishing poles, and a six pack', this is an excellent pick.

AdirianSoan
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Style:

Relaxed pacing, with an emphasis on character development over combat.  The RPG elements are subdued, and make sense within the context of the universe.  My impression is that the Gender Bender element of the story is, at least in part, a way for the author to write a female MC, as a male author, without getting caught up in basic errors or characterization issues, as after a chapter or so it basically stops mattering.  Same thing with the isekai/portal fantasy element, which replaces the "Farmer from nowhere" perspective character traditional to fantasy as a way of introducing the world to the reader, and otherwise so far hasn't mattered that much.  Basically, I find the way these elements are used in the story pleasing, serving a purpose without becoming the central focus.

Story:

So far, my impression is that there isn't a Story, just a story; the Slice of Life element is strong here.  Things happen, but the central character isn't the center of the universe, and that works.  After reading fantasy for over twenty years, personally I'm over the world revolving around the character, and this satisfies the itch for a story that is about living in a fantasy universe, as opposed to overturning it.  I ding half a star here because there is a plotline, my memory of which is now reduced to "There was another plot previous to the one we're in now"; I feel like I'm going to need to either reread the previous chapters when we get back to that story, or a "Previously in Wooden Gem" rehash to remember what was going on previously.

Grammar:

I haven't noticed the grammar, which is basically the highest praise I can give here.

Character:

Characters are reasonably well distinguished, but not perfectly; I'd say they're at their most unique when they're first introduced, and then gradually shift to a kind of universal neutral author's voice.

Reigsta Di Raizel
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This story gave me a good feeling when I readed it. It was a subtle feeling that it would be a good story when I readed the first chapter. 

Story

The first chapter was really good for to start with the story. That some curse words could also be used for other things than only to curse was a good twist of some mudane things that you use or say. The flow of the chapters after the first chapter was good and logical. There where no major holes in the flow of the story and that is good for readning experience. Something extra that moose collision did me think about truck -kun in isekai story to get the main character to another world.

Characters

First thing first they are not hollow characters so far I could get from them. They feel like living and breathing people, no robot like people that are there just to be and no ohter thing than that. The main character is a good developed person that is not just your run of the mill kind off main character without any depht in it. That and I kind of like it how she handels her problems.

World

I haved seen much of it just that the main character has been and still is in a very large forest. The only thing we know that it is like the middle ages of Europe or something like that with magic.

Grammar

There is not much to say about it because I haven't found any grammar mistake in it. I will say I am not so good at finding grammar mistakes in a text so I can not say alot about this topic.

I have still some chapters to go before I am up to date with the latest chapter. If you don't know if you will like the sorty or not try it out yourself because only you know if you like it or not.

The Shadows Mistress
Overall

A very good Isekai with a lean towards character development as opposed to some OP MC stomping through the world. The gender switch is well done. The magic system is unique and interesting. The world too has a good feel for it although we really have just touched the surface of what is going on for Chess. Story is well written and easy to follow. I look forward to more of the story as it continues.

Fernicus
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Disclosure: Reviewed as part of a review swap.

It is well written, it flows nicely and I even liked the characters,  I find the approach interesting and unique, and I am sure those of you interested in a character cursed/blessed by the god of fertility will find it an entertaining read.

I ended up stopping because I have no interest in sex or charisma driven characters. Which is not to say there was much of that by chapter 5, but I think it is not for me.
I could be jumping ship too early though *shrugs*

 

Beyogi
Overall

Gender bendered into a magical world

Reviewed at: Chapter 16 Caldur

When Chester dies in a road accident he's offered a new chance by the goddess Freya. He will get transmigrated to a new world and in return he'll spread her religion that's dying out on Earth.

To get proper blessings from her he needs to sacrifice aspects of himself and she tricks him into sacrificing his manhood.

Arriving in the new world Chester, now Chess awakens to their new self. Guided by the system of the world, Chess picks her classes and begins to explore the world as well as the social and bodily implications of her new sex.

The magic system of the world is rather unique. Abilities are inheritable, but can get improved by killing and absorbing the abilities of others. The protagonist themselves is sympathetic and I'm honestly not sure why this is tagged an anti-hero story considering that's generally used for psychopathic protagonists on RR. Maybe the author intended it in the classic way where an anti-hero is just a protagonist in way over their head?

Overall an extremely enjoyable story so far. I can't wait for the next chapter :)

Ryveia
Overall

I liked the start, then it felt sloppy

Reviewed at: Chapter 29 Thump

We had a generic Isekai start, which isn't bad. Often times the start of the story is where the complexity beings, rather than being super complex itself. The MC got some interesting skills and classes, and I sort of liked the direction the story was going in. However, the brevity in which some situations are taken in sort of throw me off. First off, I always missed that there is barely any music 'told' in stories. Stories like the King Killer Chronicles really swept me away when it came to implementing it, and I've often daydreamed of ways I'd like to see music, vocal and instrumental, in stories. The first 2/3rd of what I've read up to this date has a nice pace, good internal thoughts, etc. Now it is starting to get sort of sloppy. I really think the idea of regurgitating whatever song you listened to last night before you wrote as what your MC is playing is sort of boring. Before we got to this setting, there is no huge setting that showed why our MC got their class or their specific abilities (like musical in their past life, or at least a lover of music to a great degree). People just don't remember every single song they heard, either, including all the notes in them and stuff. Theres a lot of plot holes so far, and you need to find some way to fill them. I'm already dropping this story, mainly because theres too much internal thoughts about wanting to play guitar instead of progressing the story. You have potential here but I don't find it entertaining enough to stick here for it. Maybe I'll pop by again down the road.

msng
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Familiar Genre with Interesting and Novel Elements

Reviewed at: Chapter 56, Stace 5 A Hunter's Shame

Short review is that I like this story a lot and have binged all the available chapter over the last few days. This is a gender bender story, but that is just one minor aspect of it. It is also a highly absorbing transmigration story that has a good combination of both novel and familiar elements with an interesting twist. I hope you read and enjoy it as much as I do.

 

Longer version:

Story and Characters

I like the story and how it progresses. It has a nice mix of familiar and novel elements that kept me entertained and reading more. The isekai/transmigration process is an example of how it mixes familiar tropes with novel elements to keep it interesting.

The main character is also a strength of this story. Not a perfect person who always does the right thing, but also not a person who is so frustrating that you just want to scream at them. A thoughtful and three-dimensional character, who even if you do not always agree with his actions, you can understand the logic of where it is coming from. His abilities and the whole LitRPG system are also sufficiently different from most others to be novel, while still remaining interesting and not too complicated to understand.

I also like the side characters. These are characters with their own motivations and opinions. Their actions add additional depth to their character without being inconsistent with the way they have been previously been portrayed. It does not suddenly change the character’s personality and actions to suit the plot, but allows for more complex figures to provide more interesting detail to the story. I particularly enjoy how one of them changes and grows as a result of her experiences.

 

Style and Grammar

Good. There are a few minor errors, but most of them seem to have been found and mentioned in the comments and corrected by the author. Being willing to read and act on these comments meant I gave the book an extra star on the style score. And as far as I can tell, the author seems to have noted and responded to every comment where someone has spotted an error (or what they thought was an error).

 

Hope this helps.

HamsterDesTodes
Overall

Readers beware, this story takes its time to get things right. If you prefer your hero to be on top of the world by chapter 20, you may want to look elsewhere.

For those who do possess a modicum of patience the tale offers well-written characters and a deep skill system. The world - what we've seen of it - looks internal consistent and the challenges are pretty steep yet reasonable.
The Main Character Chester/Chess - there's a slight gender bender but it doesn't impact the story at all, it's a purely female MC after the first chapter, except for the cussing - Chess is neither under- nor overpowered. Yes, she's quite literally the chosen one (of her particular goddess at least), with appropriately high base stats and some nice skills, but she's also got no clue about the world and it shows. The people she meets on her way start to educate her, but the process is by no means finished 50+ chapters in.

I enjoy the story very much and can't wait to see how Chess will change the world!

Michael Wade
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This is a true isekai litrpg with actual character

Reviewed at: Chapter 50 Einherjar

This is what a royalroad fiction should look like.

The characters not a flat 1 dimensional goon. At the moment she's overwhelmed with a lot of recent events and its easy to critizise her. Honestly though I like how its going since if she had everything in hand right from the get itd be boring.

The litrpg system is great I like how it ties in with the mc goal and aspirations. The side characters fulfill their roles and the antagonists are quite mysterious. Freya is a nice bonus cuz she doesn't make the mc broken and is instead gambling on Chess to deliver. The other gods interfering offers greater interactions as well.

Some people were complaining but the dungeon section but honestly thats one if the good points the mc doesn't just suddenly get stronger for no reason. She has to work for it and it offers an educational perspective for her.

If this doesn't get dropped it will easily transcend the others of the same genres for me.

Thats the biggest thing about an online book I want to read future chapters and eagerly await updates that will leave me wanting more.

This fiction delivers everything I love and I can't wait for more.